zesk configure

This command-line tool is very helpful in managing remote deployments of code using a simple grammar for keeping files in sync with the local file system and a source code repository.

Sometimes, it's nice to be able to edit files in-place on a server system in order to get changes in place quickly, instead of having to run through editing a file in the repository and then copying it into place.

The configure command supports prompting the user to determine which version of the file is correct, and either updating the source or the destination when there's changes.

Author's note: It would be nicer if this was a client-server relationship with a symmetric key or some other authentication mechanism, but for now this is a simple way to keep hosts updated in a predictable manner.

Configure Command Configuration

Configuration occurs on a host based on that hosts uname -n value. You can assign multiple "roles" to a single host. The process works as follows:

This file contains two settings used to configure your environment:


Within the /etc/app.conf will be a setting COMMAND_CONFIGURE_ROOT which contains a path to the host configuration for your site. This path MUST exist and SHOULD contain a file called aliases.conf.

The configure command loads aliases.conf to and looks up your host name. The value should be a list of directories in the same directory which represent the configuration files related to the the role.

So, for example, your aliases.conf file may look like:


And the directory will contain the directories: "all", "mailserver", "webserver", "cacheserver".

Note that the first time running configure on an application will attempt to determine and save the configuration using interactive prompts with the user.

File Format

The configure file format is a simple command parameter line syntax, an example as follows:

subversion      https://my.repo.com/project/trunk     {application_root}
symlink         {configure_path}/php                  {codehome}/host/webserver/php
file            {configure_path}/php/php.ini          /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
file            {configure_path}/php/php-cli.ini      /etc/php5/cli/php.ini
file_catenate   etc/app.conf                          /etc/app.conf             no-map

Variables as defined in the "environment file" above will be replaced (map()ped) into each command line. Use the defined command to ensure variables are defined.

Configure Commands

defined var1 var2

Do not continue unless the variables listed are defined and have a non-empty value.

subversion repository-url directory-path

The repository repository-url is updated or checked out to directory-path. Note that authentication is not supported by this command, so any authentication should be set up already in the $HOME/.subversion saved configuration.

Only available when the Subversion module is loaded.

mkdir target [want-owner [want-mode]]

Create a directory target and optionally assign it owner and mode.

file source-path destination-path [want-owner [want-mode]]

Copy a file from source to destination. Destination user/group and file permissions are always fixed to remain the same as it was previously.

file_catenate source target [flags]

Catenate files found in various host configurations for this system. source is a relative path to the host directories for this server.

So, if my host is set up as:


In the aliases.conf file, then the following line:

file_catenate   app.conf    /etc/app.conf   no-map

Will search for


Within the host_setting_name directory Concateate them into a file and then compare it with /etc/app.conf upon configuration.

Flags can be:

Creates symlink to target and ensures it's updated or correct.